The duck test and the big assumption

My whole perspective on life is (as far as I am capable) holistic and multi-dimensional. So I look for generic truth in all sorts of seemingly unlikely and unconnected places.

I want to tell you briefly about an observational analytical process that I frequently use and that I refer to as triangulation – or more commonly the “duck test”.

In trigonometry and geometry, triangulation is defined as the process of determining the location of a point by measuring angles to it from known points at either end of a fixed baseline, rather than measuring distances to the point directly.

The big assumption

Before I explain what I mean by triangulation - which from now I am going to call the "duck test" - and how to apply it, I must declare a belief or big assumption that I hold and that underlies this approach, and that is that truth is generic and universal – however, whenever and wherever it manifests.

If you do not hold or share this belief, then this process may not work for you. But that’s OK – we’re all different, and we function differently.

Truth may come in strange disguises

Truth may appear in different ways – "the truth may come in strange disguises" - but if the filters in our minds are set wide enough and our minds are truly open we will see it. Or "seek and you will find".

So when I see something in any diverse area of life or field of enquiry that resonates - it maybe an idea, a perspective, or a dimension - I pay careful attention to it.

Pointing to a generic or universal truth

When at some other time, I see the core or essence of the same thing reappear in my “mental field of vision”, re-expressed in a different framing, context and language I really start to pay attention.

If this occurs a third time I apply the "duck test" – that is "if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then chances are it is a duck" – in which case the triangulation applies and I can see that each of the three seemingly different manifestations (by framing, context and language) are in fact pointing to a generic or universal truth.

Everything that follows from here on is my perception of generic or universal truth.

"…At the moment that you wake from sleeping,
And you know it’s all a dream,
Well the truth may come in strange disguises
Never knowing what it means..."

["Tattva2 by Kula Shaker from the album "K"]

Supporting Articles

The following articles develop and support the main themes and should be read in conjunction with the main pages under the relevant theme. Please see:

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